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Medication adherence is a critical aspect of treating patients with ATTR-CM and ensuring optimal outcomes. Research suggests that many patients with ATTR-CM are adherent to treatment with tafamidis, partly due to the availability of a one-tablet dose.

Tafamidis is the first FDA-approved treatment for ATTR-CM that has been shown to help reduce disease progression and mortality risk. However, as with all medications, tafamidis is most effective when it is taken as prescribed. Patients who are not adherent to treatment with tafamidis are at risk of experiencing cardiovascular complications, hospitalization, and death. Still, the data on real-world adherence to tafamidis is limited.

A recent study investigated the adherence patterns and characteristics of patients with Medicare-prescribed tafamidis. The retrospective cohort study included data from commercial and managed Medicaid, and Medicare Advantage claims of patients taking tafamidis meglumine (Vyndaqel) or tafamidis free acid (Vyndamax). Vyndaqel contains a micronized meglumine salt of tafamidis taken as four capsules once daily, while Vyndamax contains the free-acid form of tafamidis taken as one capsule once daily.

Results showed that most patients taking tafamidis were older (75 to 84 years of age) and male. Patients with Medicare Fee-for-Service claims had other comorbidities, including heart failure, hypertension, and thrombosis. Most patients did not have any gaps in refills, and any gaps in refills were less than 30 days, signifying good medication adherence.

Based on the study results, most patients with Medicare taking tafamidis are adherent. The decreased pill burden of tafamidis free acid versus that of tafamidis meglumine may be more convenient for some patients. Healthcare providers should remain aware of medication adherence patterns when treating patients with ATTR-CM. Maximizing medication adherence rates may help reduce poor outcomes in patients with ATTR-CM.

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Roy, A., Peterson, A., Marchant, N., Alvir, J., Bhambri, R., Lynn, J., Benjumea, D., Prasad, S., O’Brien, A., Chen, Y., Kemner, J., & Parasuraman, B. (2022). Baseline Characteristics and Secondary Medication Adherence Patterns Among Patients Receiving Tafamidis Prescriptions: A Retrospective Analysis Using a National Specialty Pharmacy Dispensing Database. Patient Prefer Adherence, 16, 1115-1129. https://doi.org/10.2147/ppa.S352332